PSCN Psychology Counseling 015 (Lopez): NOT All Information is Created Equal

Spring 2020

Information Timeline

Graphic showing timeline of information

Scholarly Journals vs. Popular Magazine Articles

Scholarly Journal

Purpose -  report on original research or experimentation

Length - longer, in-depth analysis

Authors - expert or scholar in discipline, name and credentials provided

Language/Audience - jargon of discipline for scholarly readers

Format/Structure - serious look, structure (abstract, introduction, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion), always cite sources

Evaluation - reviewed and evaluated by subject experts and editors


Popular Magazine Articles

Purpose -  to entertain, to sell products, to promote a particular viewpoint

Length - short, broad overview, litle depth

Authors - staff writer/journalist, name and credentials often not provided

Language/Audience - simple language, general readers

Format/Structure - slick, attractive appearance, not a specific format, does NOT cite sources, lots of graphics

Evaluation - not evaluated by subject experts or editors



Primary vs. Secondary Sources

A primary source...

·        Is a thread of information that when pieced together with other primary sources form the fabric known as history.


·        Is anything written or produced by those who participated in or witnessed an event firsthand.


·        May take the form of “eyewitness accounts, decrees, letters and diaries, newspapers and magazines, speeches, autobiographies, and treatises.”


·        May include non-traditional sources such as coins, jewelry, films, art, music, oral testimony, and others sources of information.   


A secondary source...

·        Offers a second-hand interpretation of an event or person, and usually takes the form of scholarly writing.


·        Provides an overview that allows researchers to understand “how other historians” have interpreted an event.


·        Provides the reader with a bibliographic guide to primary and secondary sources.